Rain cannot stop expansion project for youth with disabilities - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Rain cannot stop expansion project for youth with disabilities

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Adults slammed big shovels into the ground while the kids took brightly colored, smaller ones and helped out. Adults slammed big shovels into the ground while the kids took brightly colored, smaller ones and helped out.
GERMANTOWN, TN -
(WMC) - Wednesday was a day of celebration at the Madonna Learning Center.

Rain couldn't put a damper on the groundbreaking ceremony for the school's major expansion plans.

Adults slammed big shovels into the ground while the kids took brightly colored, smaller ones and helped out.

"We have been working a long time to get to this point," said Jo Gilbert, executive director of the project.

The buildings will allow the center to work with more children and hold new activities. The new activities will give children with disabilities like down syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism, and other rare genetic disorders a chance to have fun, learn, and socialize.

"It offers such a wonderful opportunity for students to excel to the next level. Our hope is that they will get employment somewhere and be successful in society," said Gilbert.

The new buildings will help the Madonna Learning Center add a preschool, gymnasium, and stage area.
 
Right now, the school serves children between the ages of 5 years old and 18, and it has programs to help adults develop work and life skills.

"A place like Madonna is truly a Godsend. It's a jewel in the community. It enables them to become everything they can be, so their future is bright," said John Haase, the Madonna Learning Center's board president.

This is the public phase of the center's $10 million furnishing campaign. The new projects are expected to be completed in time for the beginning of the 2015 school year.

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